East Carolina University announces more coronavirus clusters, suspends football practices

[image courtesy ECUPirates.com]

East Carolina University has announced another COVID-19 cluster has been identified in a dormitory and within the football team, and practices have been suspended indefinitely.

According to an ECU Alert sent Thursday afternoon, there are currently seven positives related to Clement Hall and 10 positives associated with the football team.

A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more cases that are deemed close proximity in location. “Location” is defined as a single residential hall or dwelling.

On Monday, ECU officials announced the first cluster of coronavirus cases since the fall semester began at Gateway-West Residence Hall.

East Carolina University interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson sent an email to faculty and staff on Tuesday, saying in-person classes will continue for now.

UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University are shifting to online-only classes due to the growing number of cases on their campuses.

ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert announced Thursday that football activities are pausing indefinitely after evaluating results from the latest rounds of coronavirus testing.

All affected individuals will be isolated based on medical guidelines. Contact tracing will be conducted for close contacts per University protocol and those identified individuals will be quarantined, according to a news release.

“Today’s decision to pause all football activities comes in consultation with our medical staff after reviewing our latest test results,” Gilbert said. “We will continue to monitor all of our student-athletes on campus and take all the necessary actions to follow all safety protocols established at the local, state and national levels.”

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